George Osborne announced a £3.8 bn pooled budget for health and social care in today’s Comprehensive Spending Review. To a certain extent this was a cheeky political attempt to steal some of Andy Burnham’s policy on health and social care integration.
Genuinely building a system that links health and social care is good policy. It could help people stay in their homes, reduce hospital admissions and support people to lead dignified lives as they get older or deal with long-term conditions. With proper planning, training and upfront investment it could also be more cost-effective in the long run.
But Osborne’s move fails on a number of fronts.